Cycling is a great physical activity no matter your age or level of fitness. There are several benefits to cycling – whether you want to get fitter, help your bank balance with buying less petrol or it’s purely an environmental choice. It can also help protect you from illnesses including heart disease, mental illness, diabetes and arthritis. Let the wind flow in your hair and make it routine to ride your bike where you can. Just a kind reminder to always wear a cycling helmet for health and safety purposes.
A Complete Kit List for Cycling in Summer
- Cycling Tops
- Cycling Shorts
- Cycling Hydration Packs
- Water Bottles
Active tops for cycling are important in summer because you want to be comfortable, streamlined and fresh whilst exercising in warmer weather. We have a range of active tops from every day tees to high wicking Quick Dry performance t-shirts which will be ideal for casual, morning commutes or all day rides depending on your experience and how many miles you expect to cycle.
Your cycling shorts for summer will depend on what level of cycling you plan to do. If you’re cycling casually on the weekend to your favourite coffee shop, going further on a long cycle or maybe you’re training for a triathlon. Either way, we have what you need and more for a comfortable, enjoyable ride. Our shorts will allow you to keep your legs moving whilst keeping you cool as you peddle. Whether you’re an avid cyclist or a leisurely rider, there is something for everyone. Our padded cycling shorts feature gel inserts or foam pads designed to provide you with comfort on the saddle. Cycling shorts are a critical piece of kit and that’s why our in-house designers have developed them with technical fabrics and built in padding so that you can cycle full speed ahead.
Cycling Hydration Packs
Keeping hydrated is number one when you’re exercising, we all know that. To make sure you’re alert and stable, be organised with a hydration backpack – also known as water backpack. What is a hydration backpack? A hydration backpack is a type of hydration system built as a backpack or waist pack that you wear when exercising. It contains a hose and bite valve to allow the wearer to drink hands-free. Some packs are designed with insulation to keep the water from freezing or becoming too warm which is great for when you’re out on-the-go with limited access to running water. The volume of water depends on the type of hydration pack you go for. Keep in mind the capacity as you will need enough space for essentials and a change of clothes if need be. Additional features include an adjustable waist strap, padded straps and singular zip compartments.
Our water bottles come in a variety of different shapes and sizes depending on your chosen physical activity. Our collapsible water pouches (350ml-480ml) are great for travelling on-the-go as they take up hardly any space and come with attachments so that you’re able to clip it onto your rucksack. We also have sports bottles with bite valves which hold up to 750ml of water which is great for slotting into your holder if you’re planning a casual cycle or commuting into work.
A Complete Kit List for Cycling in Winter
- Base Layers
- Waterproof Jackets
- Cycling Tights/Leggings
- Waterproof Socks
- Cycling Boots
- Helmet Cover
- Bright Colours
Staying warm while exercising starts with the right base layer specifically designed for this activity. The goal here is to retain your body heat but also allow the dampness from sweat to evaporate, to leave you as fresh and dry as possible.
A thin, lightweight long-sleeved layer next to the skin – followed by another base layer if required – maximises heat because the layers trap air between them, yet the thin fabric still allows sweat to evaporate away from your body.
Choose Merino wool for your base layer if you have the budget for it and you prefer natural materials. Merino wool is famed for being non-whiffy since it is naturally anti-bacterial; so even if you wear it for several bike rides in a row, the nasty odours will be kept at bay.
Every cyclist needs a waterproof jacket. You might choose a lightweight water-resistant jacket that can be stuffed in a back pocket or rucksack for when the rain starts falling during a ride, or a heavier jacket that is fully waterproof. If you’re a regular cyclist, the latter is advisable for UK weather conditions.
Make sure the jacket is breathable as well as waterproof otherwise you will end up being wet inside due to sweat accumulation. Look out for extras too, such as air vents, hi-visibility colours or details, high collars and a lower back for better coverage.
Don’t forget to check that the jacket is long enough on the arms. A gap at the wrist between the jacket sleeve hem and your gloves is horrible in wet and cold weather.
Cycling Tights and Leggings
Legs end up bearing the worst of the cold, windy and wet conditions when you’re on your bike so tights, or leggings, are a must in winter. Wear the appropriate tights with your summer padded cycling shorts over the top. Opt for bib tights if you find that you always end up with a cold back. These have an extra dimension to them that starts from the hip line up till the shoulders. This extra stretch of fabric promotes warmth and locks in heat from the lower to the upper body.
Some tights have a water-resistant coating. If you’re planning a short commute to work, you could choose waterproof over-trousers but they will need to be breathable, too.
The hands can prove difficult to keep warm in winter so make sure you wear well-insulated gloves, as cycling exposes your extremities to extreme weather, amplified by the speed of your movement. If you suffer severely from cold hands due to poor circulation, arm yourself with a thin glove liner underneath your outer glove.
Look for gloves that are waterproof to combat the rain and precipitation, as well as breathable, to allow any residual sweat to evaporate. You can go for a type called ‘lobster’ gloves, which look like a cross between mittens and gloves. These keep hands warmer and have added technical functionality because the fingers are not kept separate.
Additional features to consider include cuffs that can be adjusted to make sure they fit neatly around the wrist, good palm grip and reflective details to ensure that your gloves boost your performance and help you tackle harsh external conditions.
Cold or wet feet can also be a problem for winter cyclists. Since feet and toes do not move around much as you pedal, your feet will be sensitive to the cold. Overhead rain and puddles from below can also soak your feet and cut your journey short, as cycling with wet feet in winter is as unbearable as you fear.
A pair of waterproof overshoes can help immensely and avoid this problem altogether. These fit over cycling shoes and will keep out most of the wetness and dampness, leaving your feet’s dryness intact. Choose thicker fabrics such as neoprene for warmer feet.
Waterproof cycling socks are mandatory to keep your feet dry in ordinary sports shoes or summer cycling shoes. Every weatherproof boost will make a world of difference when trying to ride comfortably on a bike in winter.
If budget isn’t an issue, grab yourself a pair of winter-specific boots. These are a more sealed and warming version than summer cycling shoes, which usually boast lots of air vents. The boots also rise up above the ankle to provide extra waterproof protection.
If you own a vented helmet, you can buy waterproof covers that fit over the top of the outer shell to keep more of the pelting rain off your head, ensuring a completely watertight operation.
It’s even more important on dark mornings and evenings and dull days to make sure you are fully visible to other road users while cycling. Always chose brightly coloured outfits and hi-visibility garments if you can, or slip on a high-visibility vest over your gear at the very minimum. Extras including reflective details on your kit and the addition of hi-visibility arm bands to be able to draw attention to yourself, for example, will ensure others are safely aware of your presence and motion.
Lights are imperative for winter cycling. Dress up your bike, rucksack and helmet with add-on lights to add to your visibility as a cyclist on the road, and also to aid your own visibility as you proceed along your route. These also add a customised, professional touch to your cycling and indicate you mean business. If cycling in very dark conditions, such as in the countryside, these lights are absolutely essential for obvious safety reasons.
Cycling is both physically and mentally health-giving so don’t give up on hopping on your bike this winter. No matter what the weather forecast says, your comfort and safety are always manageable and you shouldn’t have to disrupt or curtail your exercise regimen. Even for just a commute to work each day, cycling in the depths of winter is an admirable thing to accomplish.
Explore our fitness advice section for more invaluable expert’s notes on your favourite fitness activities.